2023 Advocacy and Research Grants:
Strengthening the Sector


The Music Man Foundation has a history of providing support to organizations advocating for positive changes in the arts, whether it be for increased public funding to arts programs, support for policy changes, the conducting or dissemination of new research, or increasing public will in support of the arts.  We have partnered with select dedicated organizations working on a regional, statewide, or national level.

This year, the Foundation invites eligible advocacy and research organizations to apply for support, in line with the organization’s aims to support systemic change.  Organizations must be able to identify the system it seeks to impact, demonstrate why it is well-positioned to take on this system change, explain why its work is a priority for the field, and share accomplishments and/or progress toward achieving sustainable solutions.  We anticipate grants will support activities such as:

    1. research and policy analyses that promote the need for arts (specifically music) to change and improve circumstances,
    2. cross-sector initiatives that cultivate allies and build bridges between the arts and other interest groups,
    3. advocacy training and tools that build the capacity of arts and cultural leaders to understand and proactively influence issues impacting the arts and community vitality, and/or
    4. designing solutions that shift the circumstances within a system to promote efficiency and sustainability.

Examples of past recipients include:
* Arts Ed Data Project – using data to understand student access and participation in arts education
* Create CA – advocating for high quality arts education statewide
* Californians for the Arts – advocating for policies that cultivate and promote thriving cultural sectors statewide

The Music Man Foundation will make grants in varying amounts for initiatives with varying timelines. We are eager to hear from organizations acting as change agents, to learn about organizational aspirations and new projects with potential for greater impact.

Grant amounts will take into consideration the organizational budget, scope of initiative, and the organization’s alignment with The Music Man Foundation’s mission. Grants will be one-time grants without any commitment made to future funding by the Foundation.  However, recipient organizations may reapply after all grant funds are expended and any required reporting has been submitted to the Foundation.

The Timeline below reflects two application deadlines. Applications must be completed in the Foundation’s online grant platform.  Before applying, all organizations must participate in an organizational interview with Foundation staff.

The Music Man Foundation interprets systems change as shifting the underlying conditions that make service delivery necessary. We understand that the world operates in systems, and that isolated grants cannot make broad-based or lasting change. Because of this, the Foundation will grant to organizations trying to change the way a system functions. We rely on the expertise of our grant partners to identify the system which the organization is trying to impact.

Eligibility Requirements 

In order to be considered for funding, an organization must:

  • Reflect music within the organization’s efforts
  • Operate as a non-profit organization
  • Have at least 2 years of mission-aligned programming
  • Have a service jurisdiction that includes either Los Angeles County, California, or the United States of America. Programs focused on a state that is not California will not be eligible.
  • Have had at least one paid employee for a minimum of one year.
  • For organizations that have previously received a grant from The Music Man Foundation, the organization must be in good standing with the Foundation before applying for the Award.
  • Not have a structural deficit.


The application will include:

  • Executive summary that includes brief discussion of approach, milestones, and timeline.
  • Narrative portion that includes details of the progress the organization aims to inspire, greater detail about its initiatives and beneficiaries, the staff and governance structure, how the organization is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Financial section that includes a budget for the initiative for which support is being requested, two years of organizational budgets and audited financial statements or formal financial statements for the most recent fiscal year. If lobbying is part of the initiative, an allocated budget must be presented with lobbying and non-lobbying activities.

Selection Criteria

  • Demonstrated accomplishments in systems change and the capacity for the organization’s programming to create sustainable impacts.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the system the organization seeks to impact and insight as to why the organization is well-positioned to take on this system change.
  • Clear connection between the organization’s initiative(s) and how these lead to system change.
  • Clear description of the organization’s initiative(s) with the initiative’s (intended) participants and timeline.
  • Organization has a clear vision of its future intentions. Organization has capacity to identify and track progress towards key milestones for the organization and the system the organization is impacting.
  • Music is a primary component of the initiative’s efforts.
  • Strategic collaborations and/or partnerships exist and reflect an intentional collaboration that showcase intentional efforts to influence system dynamics.


  • March 31: First deadline for applications
  • May 2023: First round of grantees announced
  • May – September: Mandatory organizational interviews take place with prospective applicants
  • September 15: Applications due for grant decisions made in November 2023


Organizations whose work aligns with The Music Man Foundation’s interests should be in touch via email at [email protected].

Instructions for Using the Foundation’s Grant Portal 

For details about setting up your organization’s account and for additional tips on how to successfully submit an application to the Foundation, please find instructions here.